GPISD Education Foundation Named Scholarships
Daniel Bazan Jr. Memorial Scholarship - Daniel was the son of long-time Galena Park ISD employees Danny and Orphalinda Bazan. He passed away tragically on January 18, 2007, at 21 years of age. Daniel was an inspiration to all in his far too brief life on this earth. He provided the inspiration for the Bayou Legacy Walk.
Kristi Amarantos Memorial Scholarship - Kristi Amarantos was a graduate of Galena Park High School and a proud member and Colonel of the Jacketeers Drill Team. At GPHS she met her lifelong friends and the love of her life, Spiro Amarantos (He is currently serving as GPHS's Head Football Coach and Athletic Director). Education was always an important element in their lives. Krisit started her career as a teacher at Cloverleaf Elementary in Galena Park ISD and then served 7 years as principal of Royalwood Elementary in Sheldon ISD. From there she made the transition to Director of Personnel Services and then later named Executive Director of Human Resources in Sheldon ISD. She finished her career as Executive Director of Human Resources for New Caney ISD, a job and title she was very proud of obtaining. Kristi had a work ethic like no other. That, coupled with a heart of gold and intellect, made her great at her job. But the thing she valued most about her career were the relationships that developed along the way.
Maria Argueta Memorial Scholarship (Sam Houston Elementary) - Maria Argueta was a 1996 graduate of Galena Park High School and a homegrown student at MacArthur Elementary. She began her teaching career at Cloverleaf Elementary and ended it at Sam Houston Elementary. She cared deeply for other people and gave her heart to her students.
Orville “Jack” Armstrong Scholarship - Jack Armstrong was a 1945 Galena Park High School graduate who earned his law degree from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1956. In 1991, he was nominated by the Governor of California to the bench of the Los Angeles Superior Court as a juvenile court judge and would often send handwritten notes of encouragement to those who appeared before him. In 1993, he was appointed as an associate justice for the California Court of Appeals by then-governor Pete Wilson, where he served until his retirement in June 2013. Justice Armstrong had the reputation of being an extremely fair and unprejudiced judge.
North Shore Middle School James Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship - James Brown Jr. was a treasured student at North Shore Middle School. He was a football player, an avid reader, and the perfect example of a model student. He was loved by his parents, family, teachers, peers, and every life he touched. On September 27, 2006, this young man was taken too soon. His memory lives on in the heart of the school through the James Brown Jr. Memorial Trail, which was created by an Education Foundation grant and was renovated by LyondellBassell on their annual Global Care Day. He is forever treasured and remembered for living the "Mustang Way."
Robert “Bob” Campbell Vocational Scholarship - Bob Campbell served as Director of Maintenance for the district and retired on September 30, 2016, with 33 years of service to GPISD. Bob was dedicated to the District, a great leader, and an even better person. Monies donated to the Robert “Bob” Campbell Scholarship will be allocated to vocational scholarships in the District.
Jackie Carmona Corona Memorial Scholarship - Denise Jaqueline “Jackie” Carmona Corona graduated from North Shore Senior High School in 2000 and attended Cimarron Elementary. In addition, she volunteered at Cloverleaf Elementary to help her sisters set up their classrooms for many years. She was a loving and caring daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, and devoted Christian. She always wanted to be a teacher and loved working with kids. Jackie’s family and family business, Aryana’s Art Box Collection, would like to honor her memory by funding the Jackie Carmona Corona Memorial Scholarship to a senior at North Shore Senior High School who attended Cimarron or Cloverleaf Elementary.
Vikas Chaphekar Memorial Scholarship - Vikas Chaphekar came to Galena Park ISD as Chief Accountant on July 17, 1995. He held several titles in the District, including Director of Accounting, Director of Budget/Internal Auditor, Assistant Superintendent for Budget, and ultimately, CFO/Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Compliance. His career was marked by unparalleled expertise in school district finance and profound dedication to Galena Park ISD. He will forever be remembered for his gentle spirit, supreme integrity, and love for his Galena Park ISD family.
Ray L. Cox, Jr. Memorial Scholarship - Ray LaDon Cox, Jr. (1958-2021) was a 1976 honor graduate of Galena Park High School and a member of the National Honor Society. He was Vice President of Hi-Y, President of the Spanish Club, Senior Class Representative, and a member of the Key Club, Math Club, and the Christian Life Club. He played football and baseball and loved reliving special sports moments with his former teammates. He was also a guitarist in the choir’s select “Group.” He received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Management from Houston Baptist University in 1981. He served there on the board of trustees for many years, chairing in 2006 and 2016. He was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in 1985. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law in 1988. He established The Cox Law Firm in 1994. He was married to the love of his life, Dr. Barbara Taylor Cox, for over 40 years. Their sons Tyler and Colton are pursuing careers in finance and law. Ray always retained a deep fondness for Galena Park, the place of his roots, and for his wonderful classmates from the Galena Park High School Bicentennial Class of 1976.
Lt. Jack Giaconna Memorial Scholarship - Lt. Giaconna began his law enforcement career in 1993. He dedicated his last 26 years to the Harris County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office. He attained the level of Master Peace Officer and rose to the rank of Lieutenant assigned to the schools’ division for Galena Park ISD. During his years at the Constable’s Office, those with whom he worked, and especially those lucky enough to be in his command, found him a tough but fair leader, capable of earning their deep respect. His family and friends knew he would stand by them in adversity and always be a trusted friend.
Ruby Gresham Geography Bee Scholarship - Ruby Gresham began her career in GPISD as a teacher’s aide at Cimarron Elementary. During this time, she decided to go to college to become a teacher. After getting her degree part-time while she worked and held a full-time job and raised three children, she became a full-time teacher at Jacinto City Elementary. She was a strong supporter of Social Studies in the classroom and a tough elementary school teacher who had high expectations of her students. On many occasions, she provided more than just an education for her students. She sometimes provided clothing and gifts for students who didn’t seem to have some of their basic needs met. She is missed by many, but her influence is still felt.
Nancy Evans Hanley (Class of 1978) Scholarship - Nancy Evans Hanley is a 1978 graduate of Galena Park High School. Her family was long-time residents of Galena Park. Her brother, Allen, and sister, Cheryl, also graduated from Galena Park High School in 1971 and 1987, respectively. Nancy was fortunate enough to work for Shell Oil and Chemical Companies for 32+ years. Having done so allows for matching gift funds. In an effort to give back to the community where she and her siblings grew up, she is using some of her matching gift funds to help future GPHS graduates. Nancy played clarinet in the band and was assistant head twirler her junior year and head twirler her senior year. She was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated third in her class. Nancy enjoys sewing and quilting and has held various board positions, including President, with the New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild.
Harper Scholarship for Nursing Careers - Dr. John Harper grew up in Jacinto Oaks and attended Pyburn Elementary from 1959 to 1965. He went on to attend Woodland Acres Junior High and Galena Park High School, graduating in 1971. During his days in elementary and junior high, he describes himself as an avid “b-string” athlete in all sports. He was a member of a rock and roll band, “Jake and the Jokers”, beginning in 7th grade and continuing into high school. During his 3 years at Galena Park High School, he was a cheerleader, sang in the choir, and played in the Stage Band for the Miss GPHS Beauty Pageants. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Baylor University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences-Biochemistry from the University of Texas School of Biomedical Sciences in 1981. He now serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Acelity, a global medical device company headquartered in San Antonio that develops innovative products that transform how surgeons and other physicians treat complex chronic and surgical wounds. In 2012, he chose to fund the Harper Scholarships for Allied Health Careers as a means to give back to his hometown students at Galena Park High School.
James B. Havard Memorial Scholarship - James Havard served on the Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees from 1966 until 1994, served on the State UIL Executive Board, served one term as Mayor of Galena Park, and was the owner of Havard Welding Supply Company for 44 years. He cared deeply about his community and his school district. James B. Havard Elementary was named in his honor. Evidence of his contributions to our district is on display throughout our campuses and facilities.
Christy Hughes Memorial Scholarship (Tice Elementary) - Christy Hughes began her teaching career at Tice Elementary in 2000. Her teaching career was dedicated to Pre-Kindergarten. She loved her students with all her heart and made sure they knew it. Every day when her students leave, she would tell them, “I love you.” Tice’s Christy Hughes Memorial Scholarship will be given to a North Shore Senior who attended Tice and exemplifies a love for all.
Fran Keal Memorial Scholarship (MacArthur Elementary) - Fran Keal was the principal of MacArthur Elementary from 1986 to 2006. In her time at MacArthur, she built a foundation of excellence for the love of children that still holds true today. She was always full of joy and had a bright smile for those around her. She believed that children deserved a quality education from caring teachers. She was a big advocate for literacy. She enjoyed having the students read to her. She was a servant leader for MacArthur and the community.
Minnie Keller Memorial Scholarship - Minnie Keller worked in the educational field as a teacher for numerous years. Educating young people was truly what Mrs. Keller enjoyed.
Loyce Manahan Memorial Scholarship (Pyburn Elementary) - Loyce Manahan worked in the field of Elementary Education for 44 years. Her passions included teaching science, spending time with family and friends, studying the Bible, and teaching Sunday school. She also earned Galena Park ISD Teacher of the Year recognition. Most importantly, Loyce made a difference in countless children’s lives and enjoyed making learning fun for her students through hands-on science lessons.
Mario Martinez Memorial Scholarship (Green Valley Elementary) - Mario Martinez served as an assistant principal at Green Valley, Havard, and North Shore Elementary during his time in GPISD. During his fight against cancer, Mr. Martinez made a point to come to school and work as much as he could, continuing to put the education of students first, even above his own health.
Marlene Richeson Nursing Scholarship - Marlene Richeson has dedicated her life to nursing. She taught nursing for over 30 years at both Texas Woman’s University and the University of Southern Mississippi. She taught both graduate and Nurse Practitioner classes. After retiring, she moved to the Houston area and was a school nurse. She now enjoys her 2 children, 5 grandchildren, 2 dogs, and going to the beach. She is the mother of Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Lalor. This scholarship in her name is awarded to students who are majoring in nursing.
Johnnie and Kay Rountree Memorial Scholarship - Johnnie Rountree served on the Galena Park ISD School Board for 35 years. He was proud of his Galena Park roots and spent his adult life giving back to the community and school district he loved. In 1997, he was awarded School Board Trustee of the Year by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. After his retirement, he served the district as Director of the Galena Park ISD Education Foundation for six years. Kay was an amazing wife and mother. Her love of family was boundless.
Julie Trotti Memorial Scholarship - Julie grew up in Houston and graduated from North Shore High School in 1993. She graduated from the University of Houston in 2003 with her Bachelor’s in Education and then graduated from Lamar University in 2014 with her master’s degree in school counseling. Julie spent fourteen years in education. For her first seven years, she was an eighth-grade math teacher at North Shore Middle School. She then transitioned to a school counselor for seven more years at Williamson Elementary. Julie was looking forward to continuing her career with her new promotion to be a middle school counselor back at North Shore Middle School.
Desmond “Cat” Tyler Memorial Scholarship - Desmond Tyler, affectionately known by his family as “Cat”, was an exceptional young man. He was a hard worker and a wonderful provider for his beloved wife and son. His life exemplified service to others, always helping whenever and wherever needed. Cat believed education was the foundation upon which success, in any field or vocation, was possible. His work ethic and desire to constantly better himself caused him to earn an Electrician Certification and later become Foreman. His sudden passing has left quite a void in the lives of his family and friends. In honor of his memory, Cat’s family would like to provide financial assistance primarily to students pursuing a certification or Associate of Applied Science Degree in Electrical Technology, and secondarily, to students pursuing a certification or Associate of Applied Science Degree in Instrumentation.
Kenneth Wallace Leadership Scholarship - Kenneth Wallace, retired Deputy Superintendent for Educational Support and School Administration, created this scholarship to support student leaders at North Shore Senior High School.
Dr. Angi Williams - Legacy of Excellence Scholarship - This scholarship was created to honor Dr. Angi Williams, Galena Park ISD Superintendent of Schools, at her retirement. Dr. Williams served as Superintendent from 2011 to 2020 and held many positions in her 35 years serving GPISD, including teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent. This scholarship is a wonderful way to remember Dr. William's legacy of excellent leadership at Galena Park ISD.
Karina N. Williams Memorial Scholarship - Karina Williams "KK" graduated from North Shore Senior High School in 2012. She loved sports and played basketball for North Shore. Karina was a loving and caring daughter, sister, and friend. She always wanted to be a basketball coach and loved working with kids.
Terry Wisdom Memorial Scholarship - Terry Wisdom was a long-time resident of the community and a 1966 graduate of Galena Park High School.
Additionally, we would also like to acknowledge the following campuses for creating, awarding, and donating to our deserving students either through campus or named memorial scholarships.
- Cloverleaf Elementary
- Havard Elementary (James B. Havard)
- Jacinto City Elementary (Henry L. Davidson III)
- MacArthur Elementary (Fran Keal)
- Normandy Crossing Elementary
- North Shore Elementary
- Purple Sage Elementary
- Pyburn Elementary (Loyce Manahan)
- Sam Houston Elementary (Maria Argueta)
- Williamson Elementary (Julie Trotti)
- Woodland Acres Elementary (Daniel Bazan Jr.)
- Cobb Sixth Grade Campus
- Cunningham Middle School
- Galena Park Middle School
- North Shore Middle School (James Brown Jr.)
- Woodland Acres Middle School
- Galena Park High School (Kristi Amarantos)
- North Shore Senior High 9th Grade Center (Kenneth Wallace)
- North Shore Senior High 10th Grade Center (Kenneth Wallace and Cat Tyler)
- North Shore Senior High (Kenneth Wallace)
- Zotz Education Center